FLYING HISTORY

1127 West Third Street Dayton, OH

 

The airplane was invented here.

 

From 1900 to 1909, the Wright Brothers worked in their bicycle shop and     invented the aerial age.

 

This neighborhood of west Dayton was the economic center of the city.  The expansion out of downtown crossed the Great Miami river at the end of the 1800s.  This was a thriving part of town with new houses being built and Third Street lined with small businesses, both retail and manufacturing.

 

The Wright’s were entrepreneurs and intensely curious.  They had a sense that the new bicycle design, the coaster bike . . . would be a revolution in personal transportation, for both men and women, and they were right.  The balance needed to ride a bike would follow them.

 

Their curiosity had them following the gliding experiments of the German aviator Otto Lilienthal, and when he was killed in a crash in the late 1890’s, they decided that perhaps the solution was theirs to discover.  Beginning with the genius concept of wing warping, changing the shape of a flying machine to make a turn.

 

After writing to the Smithsonian to acquire the latest books on flight, and the US Weather Service to find a location with strong steady winds and soft sands, they constructed a large kite and set off for Kitty Hawk, NC in the fall of 1900.  Their success encouraged them to continue.

 

The next 2 years were rich with accomplishments and new discoveries after their flying experiments in 1901 were disappointing.  They discovered that Lilienthal's aeronautical tables were flawed.  Here on this spot, they built the first wind tunnel and created the first principles of aeronautical since which are still the foundation of aviation.

 

The 1902 Wright glider proved their theoretical work to be right, as they flew it over 1,000 times and proved that balance and control in the air was the most important discovery.

 

Here they created the aerial age, the first powered airplane, the motor, the power system and most importantly they created the aerial propeller.  Here was built the 1904 and 1905 Flyers, as well as the world changing Flyers they flew in 1908 and 1909 in France and in the USA.

 

From this location all aviation accomplishments must be measured.